Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Pretty Embarassing

If you hadn’t heard, World Cup host nation Brazil had its dreams shattered last evening.

Perhaps “shattered” is too nice a term. Germany paved the pitch and turned it into a one-way autobahn.

No country is more closely associated with soccer than Brazil. None have won more World Cup titles than Brazil’s five. None have so feverishly demanded style with victory. None could be more stricken by such total and bewildering defeat.

“We ask for forgiveness,” Scolari said.

Forgiveness will be hard to come by. The last time Brazil lost a game in the knockout round of the World Cup on home turf was in 1950 when Uruguay beat them 2-1. Those players still hear about it, some 55 years later.

This time around, the host nation endured huge protests as people felt rightly that wasting billions of dollars on stadia that would be used for only a handful of games and then basically abandoned to teams that might play for a few thousand people. Literally (Yes the Olympics are coming, but…) I can't imagine there won't be backlash on a enormous scale.

It’s hard to equate this experience to the average American, without either understating its importance or swerving into full blown hyperbole, but imagine if the original United States Dream Team in basketball – Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan et al. – lost to the Argentinian team that Olympics by a score of 80-12.

And then double that humiliation.